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   June 25, 2002 | 1445 IST


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Born in Germany, made in Turkey

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Turkey's German-born players can barely conceal their excitement at the chance that the two countries might meet in the World Cup final.

With millions of Turkish migrant workers living in Germany, such a match would be fiery, pitting Germany against one of their biggest ethnic groups.

Turkish football's recent success has in part been driven by Germany, with German coaches working in Turkey and a generation of German-born Turks playing in Turkey or for the national side.

But Germany have to beat South Korea on Tuesday and Turkey must defeat Brazil on Wednesday in the semi-finals for the clash, a potential security headache for German police, to take place.

"We're thinking of the semi-final first," Turkey midfielder Yildiray Basturk said in good but deliberate Turkish.

Basturk is perhaps the most German of all Turkey's players, still living there and playing for Bayer Leverkusen.

"If we get the chance to play Germany it would be great. I grew up there and I live there. If we could win it would be a very special thing for Turks there," Basturk said.

The final is scheduled to be played in the Japanese city of Yokohama, south-west of Tokyo, on June 30.


Umit Davala said such a game would be momentous for German-born Turks like himself.

"I agree, we have many people there. It would be great but no one would want a winner. We would all be hoping for a draw," he said.

Ilhan Mansiz, who scored Turkey's quarter-final golden goal against Senegal, was also born in Germany, as was midfielder Tayfur Havutcu.

Scores of other German-born Turks play in Turkey and coach Senol Gunes could have picked a handful more for his World Cup squad.

"Many of our players were brought up in Germany. I lived there and started my football at the age of five playing in Germany," Umit Davala said.

"It helps us that maybe we play a little like Germany."

But Turkey coach Senol Gunes rejected suggestions Ilhan's golden goal from Umit Davala's pass was "made in Germany".

"We are proud that our people are all over the world and we are happy to support them," Gunes said.

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